Robotics competition attracts international science wizards

Catherine Angangco
Catherine Angangco
Jose Ramon Jardon
Jose Ramon Jardon

By Leland Kim - bio | email

MANOA (KHNL) - The Stan Sheriff Center on the University of Manoa campus has been transformed into a high tech arena this week.  Students from Hawaii and the mainland are here for the 2009 Regional Robotics Competition, and even some international students made the trip.

This is a fierce competition.  Field soldiers battle for supremacy and the chance to dominate their opponents.

And these are the generals: high school science students who are crazy about science.

"What's great about this is when you talk about robotics, it's applied science," said Catherine Angangco, a 16-year-old high school student from Manila, Philippines.  "So what we learn in school, we actually see how they literally apply to things."

About a thousand students from Hawaii and the mainland stormed the Stan Sheriff Center for a chance at global domination.  And to make it an international event, Mexico and the Philippines are representing.

"First it's amazing," said Jose Ramon Jardon, a high student from Queretaro, Mexico.  "We come from Mexico all the way here. The competition so far is going good.  Our robot is pretty much doing well. We just won a match. It's going great"

Some students are into sports; these kids are into technology.

"It's absolutely amazing because at our school Philippines Science, we're known as the geeks of our school," said Angangco.  "So to be with other geeks like ourselves, it's great."

"In Mexico, they say never mix work with pleasure but here, we make it work," added Jardon.  "It's really cool because we're working but doing something we like."

Whether you're Filipino, Mexican, Hawaiian or American, these science wizards all speak the language of technology.

"Catherine, what do you want to be when you grow up?" asked KHNL.

"I want to be a computer animator," said Angangco.

"I think you have a bright future ahead of you," said KHNL.

"Thank you," she said.

Nurturing the fertile minds of tomorrow's high tech leaders.

Friday was the first day of competition.  Saturday is the final round and that's when the regional winners will be announced.